Nagel famously asserts that “an organism has conscious mental states if and only if there is something that it is like to be that organism—something it is like for the organism.” This assertion has achieved special status in consciousness studies as “the standard ‘what it’s like’ locution.” Daniel Dennett, while …

Why does Nagel introduce the example of the bat?

But what the bat couldn't give us was some sense of what it's like to be a bat echolocating to fly around and the reason that physical language can't capture that conscious. Experience is because it's

What is it like to be a bat Thomas Nagel summary?

Summary: Nagel believes reductionism is the most unlikely of all the current philosophical beliefs to shed life on consciousness. He believes that in order to shed light on the relationship between mind and body, one must address consciousness — and reductionism fails to do that.

What is it like to be a bat Thomas Nagel quizlet?

The subjective aspect of mental processes. -There’s something it’s like to be you, to have the desires and hopes and sights and sounds and experiences that you have. -A philosophical zombie acts just like a normal person, except that it has no consciousness.

What did Thomas Nagel believe?

As a philosophical rationalist, Nagel believes that a proper understanding of the place of mental properties in nature will involve a revolution in our understanding of both the physical and the mental, and that this is a reasonable prospect that people can anticipate in the near future.

What does it mean to say that an organism has conscious experience according to Nagel?

Nagel introduces talk about subjective experience as talk about what it is like for something to have a certain mental state. In his words, fundamentally an organism has conscious mental states if and only if there is something it is like to be that organism—something it is like for the organism.

What it is like to be a bat jstor?

Reflection on what it is like to be a bat seems to lead us, therefore, to the conclusion that there are facts that do not consist in the truth of propositions expressible in a human language. We can be compelled to recognize the existence of such facts without being able to state or comprehend them.

What did Nagel argue?

Nagel’s argument goes something like this: “We can imagine what it might be like to be nocturnal, to have webbing on our arms, to be able to fly, to have poor vision and perceive the world through high frequency sound signals, and to spend our time hanging upside down.”

Does Nagel believe in God?

Many who think differently are inspired by religion to posit the existence of God and souls; Nagel affirms that he’s an atheist, but he also asserts that there’s an entirely different realm of non-physical stuff that exists—namely, mental stuff.

What Nagel means?


Nagel is a German and Dutch surname. Meaning “nail” in both languages, the surname is metonymic referring to the occupation of a nail maker. Notable people with the surname include: Alexander Nagel (born 1945), American mathematician.

How does Thomas Nagel think that we should respond to the absurd?

Embracing absurdism is a little bit like that. The only antidote, according to Nagel, is to approach life with a sense of irony. That way we at least acknowledge the absurdity and avoid being overly serious. For if it is true that nothing really matters, then it is also true that it doesn’t matter that nothing matters.

What does Nagel think makes something absurd and why does he think that our lives often are absurd in this way?

His main claim was that life is absurd and meaningless and believing in a God to give life meaning does not make sense. Nagel explains that we view our lives from an objective and subjective perspective. Using the objective perspective, we cannot justify why our life actually matters, so we feel that nothing matters.

What does Nagel think makes something absurd?

Rather, Nagel believes our absurd condition arises from a collision between the seriousness with which we take our lives, and our capacity to step back, look at things from a wider perspective, and see how ridiculously contingent the activities that fill our lives really are.

Which of the following best describes why Nagel thinks life is absurd?

According to Nagel, life is absurd simply because we can take an external view of ourselves.

What is the absurd according to Nagel quizlet?

Nagel’s view on “nothing we do now will matter in a million years.” If our actions are absurd, then the fact they matter in the future does not give it meaning. If they matter in the future, they must matter now. Life’s absurdism has to do with how insignificant we are in the cosmos.

What is Nagel’s response to Camus?

Nagel takes Camus to say that “the absurd arises because the world fails to meet our demands for meaning (Nagel, p. 721).” He then criticizes this position for implicitly suggesting that if the world were somehow different (e.g. if there were a God), it might indeed be capable of satisfying those demands.

What does Thomas Nagel mean in the absurd?

In his article The Absurd (1971), American philosopher Thomas Nagel argues neither our pitifully short and fevered existence, nor our physical smallness relative to the universe, in itself, makes life absurd.

What does Camus recommend as a response to our absurd lives?

Camus proposes that the only appropriate response to the absurd is to revolt against it; to live on with the knowledge of the absurd. That is, to continue living and searching for meaning, even though the universe will provide none. That is what it means to live absurdly.